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Old 01-17-2019, 01:59 AM   #1
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What to do with wet carpet to prevent mold and other grossness

Hi folks.

We've had A LOT of rain in the San Francisco Bay Area today. I had the living room slide extended in my 2005 Winnebago Voyage 36M today, and I noticed this evening that there was water near the corner of where the slide meets the side wall.

Here's a pic: , and here's an annotated pic: The most wet was at the red area, but eventually it was wet out to the yellow line.

I've been reading about how to check for leaks and sealing them. But what I really want to know is what to do with the wet carpet to prevent mold and other yuckiness from growing. I've been blotting as much water as I can with towels (though I retracted the slide until the rain stops, so I can't get to some of it right now). What else can I do?

Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:31 AM   #2
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I have used a fan and heater to dry the carpet.

Try to use the levelers and lower the side with the leak, this will change the way the water drains off.

when excessive driving rain hits, I will get minor leaks.
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Old 01-17-2019, 06:38 AM   #3
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When parked at the house we run a dehumidifier in our bus. This is a large 'basement' type but when traveling we use a electronic type small one. Works for us.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:06 AM   #4
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You could use a wet/dry shop vac to suck the water out of the carpet.


I would open the slide temporarily so you can access as much of the affected area as possible.



Also follow above suggestions as you will never be able to remove all the moisture by vacuuming or blotting.
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:09 AM   #5
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Get a dehumidifier after you use a wet vac to remove the water the dehumidifier will dry out the carpet and the underlayment and will keep mold away
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Old 01-17-2019, 08:14 AM   #6
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I would dry it out asap. Use a wet vacuum to suck up excess water if there is any. Then use a space heater and fan, if you have a dehumidifier use that also. Get it dry then do the same for twice the time it took to get it dry to the touch. You need to make sure the padding is dry also.

Then use a mold killing solution in a carpet cleaner in you have one or spray on and use a wet vacuum. Make sure the solution will not harm the color, bleach is the best to use but that most likely will hurt the color. I have read lysol mixed with water will also work. Ozone generator is supposed to kill mold so when you are all done if you have one let it run on high for 3 or 4 hours in that area.

Good luck.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:02 AM   #7
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I would dry it out asap. Use a wet vacuum to suck up excess water if there is any. Then use a space heater and fan, if you have a dehumidifier use that also. Get it dry then do the same for twice the time it took to get it dry to the touch. You need to make sure the padding is dry also.

Then use a mold killing solution in a carpet cleaner in you have one or spray on and use a wet vacuum. Make sure the solution will not harm the color, bleach is the best to use but that most likely will hurt the color. I have read lysol mixed with water will also work. Ozone generator is supposed to kill mold so when you are all done if you have one let it run on high for 3 or 4 hours in that area.

Good luck.
Yes to this and buy a " Good quality High powered fan" and dehumidifier and run them for days!
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:11 AM   #8
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The suggestions about a wet vac, heater, fan, etc. are the way to go. You also might try a hair dryer for a while after the wet vac. I'd also spray it with some sort of anti-mold cleaner.

Check the integrity of the slide seals. I had a similar problem and found that the corner of one of my lower seals had pulled loose and was twisted.
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:18 AM   #9
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When we had that happen years ago we used a carpet shampooing machine to suck up the water. Then used fans. Time is critical when dealing with wet carpet and mold!
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:34 AM   #10
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The suggestions about a wet vac, heater, fan, etc. are the way to go. You also might try a hair dryer for a while after the wet vac. I'd also spray it with some sort of anti-mold cleaner.

Check the integrity of the slide seals. I had a similar problem and found that the corner of one of my lower seals had pulled loose and was twisted.
All of the recommendations are good plus use a small ozone generator when you are dry as you can get it

The ozone will kill the mold that will grow there, be careful and not over do the ozone if you have a large unit. Over due meaning don't breathe to much of it while in a small space

Best fan type I have found are the ones that discharge on the floor and have a squirrel cage
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Old 01-17-2019, 12:08 PM   #11
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Best fan type I have found are the ones that discharge on the floor and have a squirrel cage
Those are called "laminar flow" fans and can be rented by the day from tool rental places. Maybe even home depot.

This is one case where I can say "Been there, Done that, Got the t-shirt".

As the above posts said, time is your enemy on mold. Dry it out fast. And running fans just helps the water evaporate, you need to get the water out of the air so that more can evaporate. I'd go out TODAY and rent a small carpet machine, a small laminar flow fan, and a compressor-type dehumidifier. Read on.

15-20 years ago I had a temporary tech job at a Los Angeles recording studio (where the Beach Boys, among others, recorded their albums) while an acquaintance who worked there spent a month recovering from major surgery. While I was there we had 10 straight days of heavy rain storms. There was a leak over the reception area and a very expensive 20 foot by 15 foot carpet was soaked. Tarps were spread over the roof, a roofer scheduled, the boss used a rental carpet cleaning machine to suck out the water from the carpet, and then used 5 gallons of straight Lysol to "clean" the carpet, then sucked it out. Two more cycles of clean with Lysol and suck it out followed, then a clean with regular carpet shampoo and rinse with water.

Yes, the above incident is extreme compared to your problem. But I wanted to share just how important it is to hit that mold immediately.

To finish the story, three large laminar flow fans were spaced side by side across the 15 foot wide side of the carpet and run for four days, with a refrigerator-sized rental dehumidifier running in the same room. The fans were loud, so low speed was used during the work day, high speed at night. Note that the big fans are power hogs, running the fans melted a 16ga extension cord (somebody wasn't thinking). The dehumidifier sucked over 20 gallons out of that carpet across the next four days. Note that this was AFTER the carpet machine said the carpet was "dry".

I can't speak to the leaks as I've never had an RV with slides, but I'd guess that you have a bad seal in the area. Maybe even up high and the water collected in that corner. One acquaintance that has a DP with slides commented once that slides and rain do not go together, he always pulls his in when it is going to rain.

Please report back on what you found.
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Old 01-18-2019, 08:42 AM   #12
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If nothing else use the hair dryer to dry it. As long as you get it dry within a day or so, you have nothing to worry about re mold. If you want to be really aggressive pull up the carpet to dry it faster, but probably not necessary if you put in the time to dry it thoroughly from above.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:23 AM   #13
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We accidentally left the passenger window open last summer when we had a torrential rain storm. When I went in the coach I actually had standing water. I first vacuumed up as much as possible and then put down towels followed by paper towels and stood on them to absorb the water. Next I used a hair dryer and dried the top and then used a length of 2" PVC to slide under the carpet and then under the padding to dry the underside by shooting the hot air down the PVC so it acted like a nozzle to direct the air where I needed to dry. It took a few days to get it dry but this worked well, no smells and no mold. Try to get it dry ASAP.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:49 AM   #14
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If you can lift the corner of the carpet, that would be very helpful in totally drying out not only the carpet but also the underling floor. After you think you have it totally dry, get your nose right down on the carpet for the final check for mold. Don't perfume it before your finish, it may just convince you it's clean when it isn't. If your nose smells mold, consider replacing and while the old is out, use this time to look for other signs of previous , undetected leaks.
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